- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
- Online publication date: September 2015
- Print publication year: 2015
- Online ISBN: 9781139924054
This two-volume biography of the sixteenth-century French potter and natural scientist Bernard Palissy (c.1510–c.1590) was published in 1852, the year after the Great Exhibition, in which Palissy's extraordinary art had been brought before the Victorian public by Minton's highly decorated 'Palissy wares'. Henry Morley (1822–94) trained in medicine but later became an author and editor, writing for Charles Dickens among others. Here he gathers together all the material then available about Palissy, including the potter's own writings and a contemporary biography. Palissy was among the many European ceramicists who attempted to reproduce Chinese porcelain; his lack of success drove his family into poverty, but his highly ornamented wares, encrusted with sea creatures, came to the attention of Catherine de' Medici, who gave him her patronage and protection (he was a convinced Protestant). After her death he was sent to the Bastille, and died there.